Italian footwear designer Sergio Rossi has passed away at the age of 84 due to coronavirus-related complications. He died in Cesena, Italy after being hospitalized days prior with the virus.

Rossi's eponymous brand confirmed the news this morning with an Instagram post. "Today everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergio, the inspiring founder of our dream," Riccardo Sciutto, CEO Sergio Rossi Group, wrote. "Sergio Rossi was a master, and it is my great honor to have met him and gotten to present him the archive earlier this year. His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business."

Growing up in the Romagna region of Italy, Rossi learned how to make shoes from his father. He went on to launch his own company in 1968, after producing footwear at his factory in San Mauro Pascoli in the 1950s. Responsible for a number of recognizable designs, Rossi is best known for the Opanca sandal with its curved sole.

Prior to his passing, Rossi aided in the fight against coronavirus by donating €100,000 to Milan's Sacco hospital.

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